Robert O. Swinehart Passes

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Distinguished designer/educator Robert O. Swinehart died on Dec. 6 in Washington, D.C.

Swinehart was Professor Emeritus of Communication Design in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught for 36 years. He instructed students on the importance of problem-framing, critical thinking and design process. Swinehart encouraged his students never to stop at the first or 10th solution, but to push through to the 100th.

In 2007 I was teaching at the Anhalt University in Dessau, Germany. Bob Swinehart was traveling to the VisionPlus conference and stopped by my class. In this photo he is sharing a student project outcome with my class.

Among his many achievements, Swinehart’s work was exhibited in major shows around the world, and some of his work is housed in the permanent collection of the U.S. Library of Congress. He was a lifetime honorary member of the American Center for Design and the Society of Typographic Arts, past president of the Graphic Design Education Association, past president and laureate of the International Institute of Information Design, and a member of the AIGA national board.

An exemplary design educator and leader, Swinehart will be remembered for his outstanding contributions to the field of graphic design.

Bob chaired the VisionPlus conference in 2007, held in Austria. It was sponsored by the International Institute for Information Design. Here is the program brochure.
This was a major research project Bob undertoook in 2002. It provided a useful classification system for the studying of trademarks. Shown here is the cover of the report.
This is a page from the Trademark Field publication showing the primary field matrix.